Waste Generation

Sub Region:


populationurban populationarea (km2)income level ($)
Based on the Income Level definition of the World Bank: High: $12,736 or more, Upper-middle: $4,126 to $12,735, Lower-middle: 1,046 to $4,125; Low: $1,045 or less.

Waste Data

(Unit: Thousand T/Year)

Municipal Waste
Waste other than industrial waste is defined as “municipal solid waste”, which the law stipulates must be treated by municipal governments. Municipal solid waste includes waste not classified as industrial waste that is generated through business activities, and this is referred to as “commercial municipal solid waste”. 2
MOEJ. Municipal solid waste emissions and disposal in FY2014 (Page.1).Retrieved from https://www.env.go.jp/press/files/en/656.pdhttps://www.env.go.jp/press/files/en/656.pdf on September 16, 2016
Yolin, C. (2015), Waste Management and Recycling in Japan Opportunities for European Companies (SMEs focus), Tokyo September. Retrieved from http://goo.gl/65g6aA on September 1, 2016.

Legal Framework and Policy

Waste Management and Public Cleansing Act

The Waste Management and Public Cleansing Act provides control of the generation of waste, appropriate treatment of waste (including recycling), regulations regarding waste treatment facilities and waste management operators and the establishment of waste treatment standards. <10>

Act on the Promotion of Effective Utilization of Resources

The Act on the Promotion of Effective Utilization of Resources fosters the recycling of reusable resources, encourages easy-to-recycle structures and materials, defines labelling for separate collection of waste at source and promotes the efficient use of by-products. (10)

Containers and Packaging Recycling Act (enacted in 1995)


Target: Steel and aluminium cans, glass and plastic bottles, plastic and paper containers and packaging, cardboard, paper cartons The Containers and Packaging Recycling Act defines the role and responsibilities of the parties involved and establishes the collection and recycling scheme, namely sorted disposal by consumers, separate collection by municipalities and recycling of the waste by the manufacturers. It also requires parties to conduct actions to reduce waste generation. (10)

Home Appliance Recycling Act (enacted in 1998)


Target: Home air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers, TVs, washing machines and clothes dryers The Act defines the role and responsibilities of the parties involved and establishes the collection and recycling scheme. Waste generators bring waste home appliances to retailers and pay the recycling costs, the home appliance retailers deliver the accepted waste to manufacturers and manufacturers recycle the waste home appliances. (10)

Food Recycling Act (enacted in 2000)


Target: Food waste, residue from the production and processing of food products, unsold or leftover at wholesalers and retailers, etc. The Food Recycling Act aim at the reduction of food waste generated by the different entities and establishes a system for the recycling food waste. The Food Recycling Act created a system for registering business operators that manufacture fertilizers and stock feed by using recyclable food resources as raw material, as well as a system for authorizing plans to implement recycling programs by food-related business operators, recycling operators, and farmers, to use fertilizers and stock feed obtained from such recycling programs, and to use primary industry products manufactured by using recycled fertilizers and stock feed (recycling loop). Users of these systems are eligible for preferential measures specified in related regulations in order to efficiently recycle food waste.(10)

Construction Recycling Act (enacted in 2000)


Target: Lumber, concrete, asphalt The Construction Materials Recycling Act defines obligations of contractors and ordering party when demolishing or constructing buildings, including the sorting of demolition debris and recycling of construction waste.(10)

Automobile Recycling of End-of-Life Vehicles (enacted in 2002)


Target: Automobiles, The Act on Recycling of End-of-Life Vehicles provides that vehicle owners pay a recycling fee in advance and that car makers have the obligation to accept shredder residues, Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and air bags and to recycle them (CFCs have to be destroyed) (10)

Small Home Appliance Recycling Act (enacted 2012)


Target: Small electric or electronic appliances used in household and designated by government ordinance such mobile phones, hair dryers, digital cameras, etc. The Small Home Appliances Recycling Act defines an incentive-oriented system to encourage involved parties to develop their own waste collection and recycling scheme. The main purpose is to recover useful metals contained in these devices and properly dispose of hazardous substances. (10)

Effective Resource Utilization Promotion Act


The Act on the Promotion of Effective Utilization of Resources (Effective Resource Utilization Promotion Act) was enacted in 1991 with a view to ensuring the effective use of resources. The Effective Resource Utilization Promotion Act mandates that 10 industries and 69 products requiring 3R initiatives be designated by government ordinance and that specific programs to be independently implemented regarding designated items be developed by ministerial ordinance. The act also specifies rules about measures to promote 3R in product manufacture and design, identification labeling for sorted waste collection as well as the development of systems for independent waste collection and recycling by business operators. (10)

Green Purchasing Act


The Act on the Promotion of Procurement of Eco-friendly Goods and Services by the State and Other Entities (Green Purchasing Act) was enacted in May 2000. The Green Purchasing Act defines practices required in order to switch demand to environmentally friendly products, including promotion of the purchase of such products by national and local governments and provision of relevant information, with a view to creating a society capable of sustainable development that minimizes environmental impact. National and local governments take the initiative in green purchasing and play a leading role in developing green markets in order to further promote the establishment of a sound material-cycle society.(10)